Rashan Gary's Declaration In Loaded DL Class Spells Drama

Photo: Sep 8, 2018; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive lineman Rashan Gary (3) rushes in the first half against the Western Michigan Broncos at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

In one of the best declarations I've ever seen, Michigan DT/EDGE Rashan Gary officially declared for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Related: Rashan Gary's personal logo is sick

Gary played for three seasons at the University of Michigan before declaring as a true junior. Gary was the No. 1 recruit in the nation per 24/7, and was actually tied for their All-Time No. 1 ranking with players like Jadaveon Clowney, Vince Young, and Robert Nkemdiche.

Primarily rushing off the edge for the Wolverines, Gary has accumulated 9.5 sacks and 23.0 tackles for loss across 34 games for Michigan. His most productive season was his sophomore season, which saw over half of his sacks (5.5), though he did miss some time in his junior year due to an AC joint injury that Michigan staffers say hampered his production all year. Something to look out for at the NFL Combine, no doubt.

Despite playing often on the EDGE for Michigan, Gary may be facing a move inside. Listed at 281 pounds, Gary is our consensus EDGE7 in this class, and with his hand usage and power as his strengths and movement skills as his weakness, he doesn't profile as an outside track rusher. That role belongs to Chase Winovich, his teammate at Michigan who is currently our EDGE13.

Gary is viewed by some in the Draft community as a potential Top-10 pick, which would make him the highest drafted Wolverine of the Jim Harbaugh era. At The Draft Network, Gary is the 25th overall player on our board (as an EDGE defender). In the latest TDN mock draft, I put him in the early second round as an EDGE for the Detroit Lions.

It will be interesting to see how Gary's agent and trainer decide to market him to NFL teams: slim him down and rush him as a big EDGE, or bulk him up and sell him as an under tackle. For my salt, Gary likely would be a better player on the inside, but big money goes to outside players, so I wouldn't be shocked to see them sell him as an EDGE.

With Gary and Winovich both heading for the NFL, Jim Harbaugh and the ever-so-close, yet-still-so-far Michigan Wolverines must look to replenish their defensive line talent as they forever try to topple Ohio State. True sophomore Kwity Paye is likely in line for the lion's share of pass-rushing snaps for Michigan in 2019 and beyond.

Written By:

Benjamin Solak

Senior CFB Writer

Benjamin Solak is a Senior College Football Writer for The Draft Network and co-host of the Locked On NFL Draft podcast.